Lead generation allows marketers and businesses to cultivate potential customers, eventually turning them into actual customers. Sounds wonderful! Lead generation can get pretty tricky though, especially when you are new to the marketing game. This blog will break down some of the main terms pertaining to lead generation and how to successfully utilize lead generation as a marketing technique.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of lead generation, it would be wise to determine who the key players in this game are.
Subscribers: People who have shown interest in a particular company. These people allow the company to send them periodical updates that they opt into but nothing too serious. They are not making any commitments for the time being.However, they want to be in the loop, so it’s a promising first step.
Leads: People who have let a company know that they are interested in its products or services through a conversion action. They are more committed than subscribers. Perhaps, you could equate them with having had a successful first date. They are interested in a concrete way, not just in theory. They have provided more than their contact info by filling out a form for some type of content-based offer a company offers.
- Marketing-Qualified Lead: Leads that have demonstrated themselves as fully engaged contacts. This engagement has not converted over to actual opportunities, but these leads are well on their way. Marketing-qualified leads are more likely to become customers compared to any other type of lead.
- Sales-Qualified Lead: Leads that have been hand-picked by a company’s marketing department and sales team. These leads are ready for the next step in their journey because they have shown genuine interest in a company.
Every company’s goal is to convert subscribers into leads and leads into customers. It is important to track the life cycle of each and every contact to make sure that they are nicely progressing in their journey towards becoming a satisfied customer.
How you get the lead
Now that you know what leads are, here are the definitions behind what you need to get them.
Landing Page: A specific web page that potential customers are directed to that is separate from a company’s website. This page contains a form to convert viewers into leads. It typically contains an offer and a call to action, which both prompt viewers to take action.
Offer: The material provided by a company once a lead has filled out a landing page. Offers need to be creative, specific and incentivized to ensure that viewers will be transformed into quality leads.
Call to Action (CTA): Essentially a button, link or image that gets viewers to take action on your offer. People can immediately and easily recognize a call to action because it contains a command. Examples include: “Subscribe Now” and “Start your Free Trial Today.”
Conversion Rate: A metric used to quantify the amount of leads generated. Mathematically, it is the number of people who fill out the landing page form divided by the number of people who visited the page. Conversion rates matter; however, if your conversion rate is low, there are many ways to optimize your landing page to improve this metric.
We have now covered the basic terms of lead generation! It is important to take a step back and see that lead generation is not the end-all-be-all but rather, it is just the very beginning.
Marketers have described the image above as a marketing funnel. It tries to explain the marketing strategy that begins with lead generation. As shown above, once you have a viable lead, your job as a marketer truly takes flight. You need to CAPTIVATE this person’s attention enough for them to eventually make a purchase. There are many layers within this funnel – each one is necessary to eventually make the sale.
- T-O-F-U (Top of Funnel): Where lead generation begins! This is like jumping up and down on the side of the road with a giant sign in your hand. Well, not exactly, but it might as well be. You must stop at nothing during this stage to gain momentum and attention. This is the circus act portion of the show, where you, my friend, are the star performer. Show off all the tricks of the trade and explain why one should continue to invest precious time and energy into your company.
- M-O-F-U (Middle of Funnel): Now, time for lead nurturing! Here’s a little scenario that perfectly equates to this stage: You look around the living room of your one-bedroom studio apartment and notice that it lacks life. You sit and think about what could potentially liven up the room, so you decide to purchase some greenery. You quickly march yourself to the local flower shop and buy the prettiest plants you can find. Smiling from ear to ear, you bring your newest pieces of décor home. Now, your home is finally coming together. But, it doesn’t stop there. Newsflash: if you don’t water your plants, they WILL DIE. Your leads need just as much attention and care as your new plants. They need to be nurtured in order to grow. Don’t leave them unwatered!
- B-O-F-U (Bottom of Funnel): The final sales push! The most essential characteristic of this phase of the funnel is notifying your leads about all the ways your product or service stands out in comparison with your competition. Make them feel secure in their decision to side with your company.
Do not run from lead generation! The more time and effort you dedicate to cultivating quality leads, the more you will thank yourself in the long run. Trust me on this one!